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Leaving the land of Eretz Yisrael

A day late and several hundred dollars short, we finally prepare to leave the ancient land of Eretz Yisrael, the land of Judea and Samaria, home to seemingly opposing religions and nationalities that have more in common than anyone cares to admit. As I was writing my entries on this trip, I intended to eventually … Continue reading

On human rights and missing flights

After my first attempt at surfing and a fun day of paddle boarding, the last day of our trip arrived. That evening, I had the pleasure of meeting an old friend of David’s who used to live in the U.S., but now makes Israel his home. This friend is a peace activist and the founder … Continue reading

Making our way to Tel Aviv

After leaving Jerusalem, we headed into Palestinian territory as we made our way through Jericho and north to Galilee. We had an interesting (but not unpleasant) experience at a checkpoint when we were “randomly selected” for a full car search, complete with mirrors to check underneath the vehicle for bombs. I suspect the recent bombing … Continue reading

Mazel Tov!

Today is the day of Tiferet’s (David’s niece) Bat Mitzvah, which is being held at the family’s synagogue in Ma’aleh Adumim, where they live. Ma’aleh Adumim is in an Israeli territory just outside of Jerusalem. In Israel, the term “territory” is the preferred term to describe contested land currently occupied by Israelis. Ma’aleh Adumim is … Continue reading

All is well with us in Israel

Perhaps I spoke too soon when I wrote in my last post that the level of danger and safety feels like any other country in this part of the world. Yesterday afternoon a bombing outside the Central Bus Station (which is near our hotel) killed a British woman and injured 45 others. I’m sad for … Continue reading

Exploring the Old City

We’ve had the pleasure of doing a lot with David’s family while we’ve been here. Last night we celebrated the birthday of his eldest niece, Seri, and the night before David’s sister graciously invited me to attend her 50th birthday party. It was a women’s-only party because dancing was involved and women who are Jewish … Continue reading

Experiencing ‘lots’

I think many travelers know what a treat it is to experience, first hand, how a culture celebrates a holiday—even if it isn’t a holiday that is celebrated by your own religion or home country. As luck would have it, we’ve arrived in Israel just in time for Purim, a colorful Jewish holiday that seems … Continue reading

Shalom from Jerusalem

Here I am, in Israel at last. I’ve wanted to visit this country for years, but the opportunity just never arose. This is a unique trip for me for several reasons. First, I am not doing volunteer work, therefore the trip is shorter than my normal. Second, I actually have a travel companion , and … Continue reading

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